32 Teams in 32 Days: St. Louis Rams
Although the Rams won just two games last season, Steven Jackson did complete his 7th straight 1,000 yard rushing season.
It’s a pretty incredible statistic when you consider the Rams’ struggles over the last few seasons. And not only that, Jackson has played just two complete seasons out of those seven.
With a new head coach in Jeff Fisher, should we feel confident about Jackson this year? And what about the rest of the young, Sam Bradford-led offense?
A potential sleeper on this Rams offense this season is…
Lance Kendricks. New offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has made it clear, over the course of time that he was working with the Jets, that the tight end position is important to his offensive scheme.
When Schottenheimer was in New York, Jets’ tight end Dustin Keller led the team in targets in 2011 with 115, and had 100 the year before that.
Kendricks is a 2011 second round pick with a lot of potential. Schottenheimer has already noted that he, Kendricks, will be an integral part to the Rams’s success.
If you’re in a 12- or 14-man league, I can’t blame you at all for getting a guy like Kendricks late in your draft – especially if you have a deep bench. He’s got quite a lot of upside in an offense that needs receiving help.
I’m probably not going to get…
Steven Jackson. The reason is simple: He’s got far and away the most carries compared to any starter in the league, and will be 29 years-old this month.
Another reason I’m staying away from Jackson is because I know that, even if he stays healthy and produces similar numbers as he has the last few years, I’m not going to be getting a top-5 guy. From a fantasy standpoint, he’s finished 10th in 2011, 14th in 2010, and 10th in 2009. And that’s what he does. He finishes very solid, but he doesn’t finish in the top 10 all that often anymore.
I can’t expect, even if he continues to play at the level that he’ll play, him to finish higher than 10th this year. And because of his age – both in carries and in actual birth – I feel as though his risk becomes larger than his reward.
I can’t say I’d criticize you for getting him at his current ADP of 3.01. He’s been listed as the 11th to 17th best fantasy running back in the NFL coming into the season. If you think he can do what he’s done, and aren’t afraid of his health, then you should get him. I won’t though.
Take a late round chance and get…
Isaiah Pead. And it’s for the reason I just mentioned above: Steven Jackson’s health and age.
The rookie back out of Cincinnati has a lot of the same traits as Chris Johnson did coming out of school. And who was Chris Johnson’s head coach in Tennessee? Jeff Fisher. Who’s the head coach in St. Louis now? Jeff Fisher.
Yeah, it’s a stretch, but Fisher isn’t afraid of using a sub-200 pound running back in his offensive system. Pead has a lot of similarities – both speed and size-wise – when compared to Johnson. He’s still got some work to do in pass blocking and pass catching, but he’s explosive and will get some looks as a change of pace back to Jackson as the season begins.
Pick him up and see what happens. It’s what the 12th round is all about.
The one word to describe the 2012 Rams is…
Almost. I really think that with Jeff Fisher in town, the Rams are headed in the right direction. They’ve made plenty of defensive off-season moves, and the offense is looking to be somewhat exciting if Sam Bradford can stay upright.
Look for Lance Kendricks to turn some heads this year, and a potential drop off from Steven Jackson. And because of Jackson’s drop off, rookie Isaiah Pead becomes mighty attractive in the late rounds. Who knows, maybe he’ll be the next Chris Johnson under head coach Jeff Fisher?